Carlos Condit gets his big UFC moment, finally.
Maybe there is something about patience being a virtue; all good things come to those who wait; what goes around comes around.
Or quite possibly it comes down to class, that distinguishable quality or separation from being only a top level fighter to being one with character and commitment beyond the cage.
Condit has exhibited that throughout what he appropriately calls “a crazy ride” since he was supposed to fight George St. Pierre for the UFC Welterweight. In a wacky soap operatic turn, Nick Diaz who was punished for missing two press conferences was moved out of the title shot with GSP and Condit got the spot. GSP got injured, Condit then fell into an unexpected and unfair abyss when he had no opponent, Diaz thumped B.J. Penn and boasted he should get the next title shot, and did. Condit was relegated to a lesser role on the Super Bowl weekend card against the dangerous Josh Koscheck.
Whew. It would be enough to make even the composed Condit lash out if but for a moment. He never did. His camp released a well thought out statement expressing their disappointment. And look how that worked out.
St. Pierre has an ACL injury in his left knee that reportedly will sideline him for nine to ten months and voila, Carlos Condit is getting a title shot after all. On February 4, he takes on Diaz for the interim UFC Welterweight belt.
“I had so much emotion the past couple of months, I had to laugh,” he candidly notes of his reaction to first getting the news. “I mean given the way every thing has gone.”
Any bitterness never surfaces during our phone conversation. Perhaps because no matter how bizarre or insulting this has been to him, Condit has never lost poise, never a hint of diminished confidence.
“I was going to get the title shot either way. I was confident for the Koscheck fight. You know it turned out this way, but I always felt it was inevitable.”
It does require a tactic change. “Just because their styles are so radically different (Koscheck and Diaz). I’m excited about training for Diaz, for his style. He’s a stand it the pocket, mix it up fighter. I can be that way too. I just haven’t had that chance in recent fights because I’ve faced so many wrestlers.”
He’s on a streak of four straight UFC wins, including two knockouts of the night against Dan Hardy and Dong Hyun Kim, both first round finishes with flare that suggests he has more in his repertoire.
And this chance for the last WEC Welterweight king to now get a UFC title, interim or not, has a deep meaning.
“It’s a win-win. It’s the fight I wanted a long time (with Diaz), the fans want it, even if it’s an interim belt, it’s huge. I’ve stayed focused on training, through the ups and downs, they were out of my control. This is what I want.”
What a class act deserves.
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